This is ajacksonian's Typepad Profile.
Join Typepad and start following ajacksonian's activity
Join Now!
Already a member? Sign In
ajacksonian
Recent Activity
What I've been calling the stuff going on is: 50 Shades of Maroon. And I'm starting to think that 50 just isn't enough for these Maroons in the WH and on the Left.
Toggle Commented Sep 7, 2013 on Fifty Shades Of Red And Grey at JustOneMinute
Were there any assets from 6th offshore? I don't think there is anything that could have used a lased target, but if you could get coordinates to get something to the target... These men shall not have died in vain.
1 reply
Amazing that the Nation got from 1776 to 1936 without one, single 'entitlement' program, and yet Americans built a continent spanning Nation and created the greatest industrial system the world has ever seen. Plus kept their currency relatively stable up to 1912. Now with all the 'entitlements', a financial set of systems that shows the entire suite of problems with the old National Bank plus many others, a minimum wage that makes it better to have jobs overseas than in the US, plus subsidizing health care via the tax code that: our money loses 95% of its value, we lose our industrial strength, and we are now in a debt problem unlike any other seen in this Nation since its Framing. What happens when the money is worthless and the power goes out on the 'third rail'? We soon shall find out.
1 reply
This is the Great Divide in America opening up yet again.... it was there before the Founding, brought our first government to task so that the Framing could be made, and then has fought back against the encroachment of politics over liberty ever since. When the people see the institutions as the problem, then it is the institutions that must change or go... not the people who must change to the institutions. Now this hard truth that governments are created amongst men who are free to change or abolish them comes forth yet again as fresh as the day it was conceived.
1 reply
I can see the Shining City upon the Hill, the dense and dark forest between my porch and the City, and the ever constant star of Liberty above to guide the way. We go together, those who look up to the constant star heading for the City.
1 reply
Remember if it's not close, they can't cheat...
1 reply
Mr. Codevilla's Country Class was prevously described by Walter Russell Mead. Of course no one dare say the name of that description... it isn't PC! Country Class is very PC, and so must be used... someday we will do away with PC-speak and say things as they are.
1 reply
When it is not taught we forget the very basics given to us as a people, as a society: Some writers have so confounded society with government, as to leave little or no distinction between them; whereas they are not only different, but have different origins. Society is produced by our wants, and government by our wickedness; the former promotes our POSITIVELY by uniting our affections, the latter NEGATIVELY by restraining our vices. The one encourages intercourse, the other creates distinctions. The first a patron, the last a punisher. It is not called Common Sense without reason, and that opening paragraph is only the beginnings of our perils from government. Yet it also lays out our understanding, then, of what the framework of our liberties are, and that government gets our negative liberties and rights so that we may be safeguarded from them and that they will be used only to protect society. Our positive liberties and rights we retain as individuals and keep in our creation of this thing called society. Government is an organ of society, but it is not the whole of society, and when that organ grows cancerous and desires our positive liberties it puts the entire body at peril. They stopped teaching that in school, along with much else. Now we are at peril because many want the Punisher to take over our positive liberties so that we may be the servants of government and let society wither and die... taking government with it as the cancerous organ brings down the entire body and itself, together.
Interesting that using the BLS CPI buying power that the 2001 $8,997 is $10,957.59 in 2009, while the $3,400 from 1965 is $23,281.15 in 2009... yet a standard inflator of 2.8% from 1965 winds up with $11,459.77 in 2009 and $9,188.21 in 2001. That seems to indicate a reliance on standard inflators for budget estimation and not on real-world buying power. As public spending does require multi-year outlays with standard inflators factored in, you get a regular growth slope, over time, that tends not to follow the overall economy. The fun thing to do is to visit Jerry Pournelle's site where the reading score from when poor Johnny couldn't read has remained flat no matter how much is spent from public coffers, which includes the multi-billions Dept. of Education at the federal level. When adding bureaucracy does not help the statistic you are looking to raise, then perhaps it is time to ask if the bureaucracy is necessary? I do wish we would performance test bureaucracy, like on poverty statistics, reading statistics, and so on, and when the bureaucracy has demonstrated it cannot do any good, to then get rid of it and let the source of all power, the people, take care of it as they see fit.
Toggle Commented Aug 10, 2009 on necessity and invention at ~synthesis~
That set of deals with Rezko, Alsammarae and Auchi really does stink. Why the Administration is shielding Alsammarae is beyond me... he was convicted in Iraq and rightfully belongs in a jail there, not hobnobbing back in Chitown. That and the PAC money and earmarks really do point out that far from being a candidate relying on the small donor, he is one that relied on PACs and the Chicago machine. Somehow, instead of 'hope & change' I see the man as a glib, opportunist, machine politician with some extremely shady ties.
Toggle Commented Jul 23, 2008 on TIME: The War Cannot Be Lost! at BLACKFIVE
1 reply
Note to Mr. Huckabee - Staying at a Holiday Inn Express is one thing. Getting your foreign policy off the materials in the room is not recommended... the Gideon Bible and the local pizza shop menu do *not* make a good set of sources for foreign policy. Nor the chinese take-out menu.
Toggle Commented Dec 16, 2007 on Huckabee & Dr. Phil on Foreign Policy at BLACKFIVE
1 reply
"But the point is that the right not to be offended is now the most sacred right in the world. The right to freedom of speech, freedom of association, freedom of movement, all are as nothing compared with the universal right to freedom from offense. It's surely only a matter of time before "sensitivity training" is matched by equally rigorous "inoffensiveness training" courses. A musician friend of mine once took a gig at an elevator-music session, and, after an hour or two of playing insipid orchestral arrangements of "Moon River" and "Windmills of Your Mind," some of the lads' attention would start to wander, and they'd toot their horns a little too boisterously. The conductor would stop and admonish them to bland things down a bit. In a world in which everyone is ready to take offense, it's hard to keep the mood Muzak evenly modulated." -Mark Steyn, http://www.ocregister.com/opinion/teddy-time-pledge-1932680-say-offended That is what we are trying to do with the 'offend no one' concept of PC speak, and Steyn later goes on to describe how we are taken advantage of because of this strange PC concept. One of the great lessons *not* learned about the sinking of the Titanic is, actually, damned obvious. Large ocean going vessels take forever to slow down or even change course. Everyone knows that 90% of an iceberg is unseen and just under the water surrounding it. As a captain of such a vessel steam fast and seeing an iceberd dead ahead, what do you do? The Captain of the Titanic did not want to see the ship damaged, or even the passengers get in a few days late, so try and miss the iceberg! Avoid it, right? A later maritime expert pointed out that the entire design of the Titanic, well known to the Captain, was to have multiple water-tight compartments fore and aft, but not have such amidship. In fact those very forward parts were used to stow baggage and other items not needed immediately. The entire design of that was something we would call 'a crumple zone'. The maritime safety expert put it this way: if the Titanic had just shut off its engines and *hit the iceberg head on* you would have had damage to the ship, broken arms, tables upended and such... but the watertight system forward would have held as it was designed for that. In avoiding the iceberg the ship was doomed. Hit it head on and use the mass of the ship to hit the subsurface ice and the iceberg, and it would have survived. That is not an easy cost/benefit analysis to make, and yet it is one that must be made near instinctively. The Army specifically trains this into soldiers so that they can survive on the battlefield. During WWII the training was to get up and attack pillboxes and machine gun nests. It is counter-intuitive, and yet the ability of a machine gun to cover a wide swath is great but limited due to the operator. Get in and precisely attack and you have a chance to live... get pinned down and your chances of survival go down as help may not arrive to save you. Plus if you can get out of the field of fire laterally, which is easier the closer you get, you can attack the entire affair with the best tools you have: you go forward on the side to get out of lateral traverse and into the 'blind spot'. The last generation or so has been quite misguided on this and 'giving offense' is sometimes the ONLY way to find out what is wrong so that it can be addressed. Otherwise you get pinned down or... like the Captain of the Titanic... you doom everyone for ephemeral savings.
Toggle Commented Dec 3, 2007 on Undercurrents at ShrinkWrapped
1 reply
Hostis humani generis - "As therefore he has renounced all the benefits of society and government, and has reduced himself afresh to the savage state of nature, by declaring war against all mankind, all mankind must declare war againft him : so that every community hath a right, by the rule of self-defence, to inflict that punishment upon him, which every individual would in a state of nature have been otherwise entitled to do, any invasion of his person or personal property." - William Blackstone's Commentaries on the English Law, 1765-69, Book 4, Chapter 5. Iraq, Afghanistan, Sudan, Somalia, Columbia, Bosnia, Chechnya, Kashmir, Pakistan, Turkey, Algeria, Yemen, Spain, Argentina, Indonesia, Malaysia, India, Philippines... One of the few times I have ever agreed with Gwynn Dyer is on the effect of terrorism on humanity's outlook. He put forth that terrorism, using the equipment and language of war was putting at peril our ability to establish the differences between legitimate military organizations of Nations and terrorist groups. That was visible by the early 1980's as the effect had been going on since the mid-1960's with PLO and HAMAS, then adding in the IRA, ETA and soon a host of small groups with explosives, automatic weapons and 'a cause'. Up to then, America would only pay attention to regimes that would take opposition in a bipolar world and we paid no attention to these hostage taking and innocent slaughtering groups that decided it was a swell time to kill civilians with the weapons of war and pay no price for it. The wake up call of 1979 went unheeded. The blasts hitting embassies and our war fighters was something we ran from, wanting the confident slumber of the chilly conflict to be the only thing to worry about. And soon the death toll around the world grew, even when it had no backing from 'either side', although both mixed their hand in 'the game'... a game that yielded up the innocent as dead because we would not call uncivilized and barbaric war by its proper name. We were so civilized! Were being the operative word as when those that are civilized do not stop barbarism and prefer to try and pay off killers, we get a different term: decadence. Unwilling to stand and fight and build society to confront such things, support crumbled and we tried to 'understand why they want to kill us'. Even when that became clear, we would hear that song of decadence... they wanted us dead because we would not bow to them in their multifarious ideals. No matter what the ideology, be it Red and Atheist or Fascist and Islamic or Separatist and Anarchic we heard the same words: give in and give up your ways to our ways and we will stop killing you. Now we fight in two places to oust these sorts: one a brutal, theistic dictatorship and the other a ruthless would-be hegemon who used such killers to threaten us. This is not an offensive set of battles, but defensive to re-establish the line of civilization and *hold it*. It has crumbled hard these past decades with Europe now facing Balkanization outside of the Balkans and parts of the world ready to turn utterly lawless in Pakistan, the Horn of Africa and the Tri-Border region of South America as well as parts of central Asia and even into Russia. China feels those western tendrils and yet finds itself unable to act in those distant regions where a million man army is a drop in a sea of sand and mountains. Little did we think as a culture that those pirates of the 19th century would return in the 20th seeking not gold and riches, but power itself over peoples. From terrorizer on the sea to terrorist on land, fear brings obedience and subjugation and when we fear opposing it, we become subjgated and enslaved by our fears. Try to understand them and you become their servant. They have grown bold, these destroyers of civilization, to reach into our Nation and sway people and then, then attack directly and seek to justify themselves because of our timidity to deal with them as they deserved to be dealt with. Now we fight, after thousands of our own dead and their blood mingled with tens of thousands of others swallowed up by these groups that seek power direct and wish to be held unaccountable for anything they do. They destroy very well and fearfully, do these ones who are no Nation. And that is all they know, and nothing of building and justice, for they are their own judge, jury and executioner in each and every act and foreswear any society save that which they can subjugate by fear. Not only did we not ask for this fight, but we spoke but rarely against those causing such harm across the globe. The most noxious had thought that civilization was ready to crumble before the sturdy killer who would turn warlord, and civilization had sputtered to an end because he could wage barbaric war and no one would oppose him. And none did. Getting Iraq and Afghanistan back to being Nations that are accountable internally and externally is wholly defensive: to re-establish order and regularity of law amongst Nations and within those two. They had both experienced some of this for decades and are not forgetful of it, although the latest generation has only known fear of killers and tyrants and personal law imposed by the strong. Now that comes back, these things their parents or grand-parents had spoken about: justice, law, order that is made by society, not by tyrants. They wish, desperately, to re-establish civilization and have it flourish and our duty to those that have been under the rule of tyranny and despots and barbaric killers is to help them and help them *hard* to resist those same things. Strange that they should want to benefits of being accountable and civilized so much, while there are many of those inside out Nation wanting to give those things away so that barbarism will not be countered. There is a word for that, and it comes to no good end... Decadence. Mourn for the dead after the fighting is over. Build anew to sustain home and hearth and family. Stand guard against the wolves as the darkness falls and be vigilant during the day as they seek any weakness to take our future from us. Better a poorly fought war to sustainable victory with justice, rather than an unjust peace eroding the will to hold liberty dear. One an ongoing task to make justice possible, the other ongoing enslavement until you are not free any longer.
1 reply
Vattel, Law of Nations, Book III, Para 68 (in part) distinguishing between legitimate and illegitimate war when waged against a Nation: "Nothing of this kind is the case in an informal and illegitimate war, which is more properly called depredation. Undertaken without any right, without even an apparent cause, it can be productive of no lawful effect, nor give any right to the author of it. A nation attacked by such sort of enemies is not under any obligation to observe towards them the rules prescribed in formal warfare. She may treat them as robbers,(146a) The inhabitants of Geneva, after defeating the famous attempt to take their city by escalade,7 caused all the prisoners whom they took from the Savoyards on that occasion to be hanged up as robbers, who had come to attack them without cause and without a declaration of war. Nor were the Genevese censured for this proceeding, which would have been detested in a formal war." When attacked by those who are of no army, no Nation and out for depredation to their own cause, every community has the right to respond, all the way down to *you*. We place great stock in Law of Nations as it gets mention in the US Constitution, was talked about by the founders and incorporated into the United States and its outlook not only via Vattel, but via the English Common Law as viewed by William Blackstone's Commentaries. The Islamic Army of Iraq is no set of saints, and I would consider this to be 'Red on Red' activity suitable for popcorn and UAVs to track the goings-on. As representatives of their community they have done something that not only is their right, but they have recognized the concept that they, themselves, could and would be targets if they did not give warning to legitimate authority. They still *are* targets, but by demonstrating some concept of civilization, their rights to respond to depredation by al Qaeda and seeking to let accountable authority know that they are standing up for their community, they have shown unexpected class and an inkling of what accountability *means*. While still Red, they have taken steps to actually realize that unaccountable and unwarranted attacks upon others is not a good thing. It is not the job of the US armed forces or, indeed, of any armed forces anywhere on the planet to eliminate the right of communities to defend themselves. Asking for that is totalitarian in outlook and authoritarian in looking to strip authority from communities and individuals to protect themselves against these latter day marauders. That is uncivilized. Would I prefer that such illegitimate fighters did not attack others in the first place? Of course! But as no force can be everywhere at all times to represent the State, the individual and communities have the right, dating back to before the seige of Troy, to defend themselves. No one can or should try to remove that and vest it in police and military forces, unless the concept of police state or military based dictatorship is to your liking and even *those* have recognized their own limits in this regard. Traditionally armed forces have always given renegades a chance, usually ONE chance ONLY, to surrender if they have proven to have any inkling of what it means to operate in a civilized manner. I expect that the Islamic Army of Iraq is also driven by a sense of self-survival and that their being Red actually has meaning to them now that it might not have had at the beginning of the year. More and more of the native insurgents in Iraq have asked for the ability to come back to their Nation, seek forgiveness and turn their weapons against the predators infesting their homeland and attacking them. This process of 'learning to be civilized' is messy, bloody and has all sorts of oddities to it, including Red groups asking not to be attacked when they go after outside Red groups. We will see if the Islamic Army of Iraq now understands these concepts, but they have shown far more than al Qaeda *ever* has in that regard. If they remain Red for too long they will come into the cross-hairs of the Coalition, IA, IP, and ISF. My guess is that after having seen what has happened to other organizations that remained Red for too long, they are looking for a way out, but only time will tell. Until then, my deepest appreciation goes out to those fighting to make a better world and I mourn for their lost comrades and brethren who have done the dirty work of protecting civilization through the ages. If it be done, twer best done well. We have asked no more, and expected no less, and well done is not perfect but good enough to put our enemies to heel. And for that I am grateful to my end of days to be protected past, present and future by those that address our enemies in the only language they will ever understand, and then reach out hand to those who have been oppressed and help them stand up to such for themselves. We did not start this fight. But we sure, as hell, will end it.
1 reply
And in other news the A-67 COIN attack aircraft will be rumbling off the production lines next year. By realizing the need for high loiter time, accurate placement of munitions and low maintenance overhead via crew and supplies, COIN moves back... to the past! Hearkening back to the P-51, I think that pilots will be attracted to this vehicle for its ground attack capability. Looks like a sweet aircraft to fly... of course the jet jockies will not be attracted to it. Can we revisit Key West some day and get the AF to protect our satellite assets while handing CAS back over to the Army? COIN needs CAS, not air superiority fighters pressed into another role. Not that *Congress* can figure out how to fund necessary systems and follow-ons... these Congresscritters need to be reminded of their jobs for the armed forces: new equipment, supplies, maintenance and logistics. They have been failing that for nearly 15 years. The time has come to 'fish or cut bait', and Congress is looking a lot like chum. OT: having some Typekey problems, doesn't want to post after a preview...
Toggle Commented Nov 9, 2007 on Congressman David Obey is an idiot... at BLACKFIVE
1 reply
18 USC Sec. 1651. Piracy under law of nations Whoever, on the high seas, commits the crime of piracy as defined by the law of nations, and is afterwards brought into or found in the United States, shall be imprisoned for life. Law of Nations, Book III, Vattel, 1758 § 67. It is to be distinguished from informal and unlawful war. Legitimate and formal warfare must be carefully distinguished from those illegitimate and informal wars, or rather predatory expeditions, undertaken either without lawful authority or without apparent cause, as likewise without the usual formalities, and solely with a view to plunder. Grotius relates several instances of the latter.5 Such were the enterprises of the grandes compagnies which had assembled in France during the wars with the English, — armies of banditti, who ranged about Europe, purely for spoil and plunder: such were the cruises of the buccaneers, without commission, and in time of peace; and such in general are the depredations of pirates. To the same class belong almost all the expeditions of the Barbary corsairs: though authorized by a sovereign, they are undertaken without any apparent cause, and from no other motive than the lust of plunder. These two species of war, I say, — the lawful and the illegitimate, — are to be carefully distinguished, as the effects and the rights arising from each are very different. § 68. Grounds of this distinction. In order fully to conceive the grounds of this distinction, it is necessary to recollect the nature and object of lawful war. It is only as the last remedy against obstinate injustice that the law of nature allows of war. Hence arise the rights which it gives, as we shall explain in the sequel: hence, likewise, the rules to be observed in it. Since it is equally possible that either of the parties may have right on his side, — and since, in consequence of the independence of nations, that point is not to be decided by others (§ 40), — the condition of the two enemies is the same, while the war lasts. Thus, when a nation, or a sovereign, has declared war against another sovereign on account of a difference arisen between them, their war is what among nations is called a lawful and formal war; and its effects are, by the voluntary law of nations, the same on both sides, independently of the justice of the cause, as we shall more fully show in the sequel.6 Nothing of this kind is the case in an informal and illegitimate war, which is more properly called depredation. Undertaken without any right, without even an apparent cause, it can be productive of no lawful effect, nor give any right to the author of it. A nation attacked by such sort of enemies is not under any obligation to observe towards them the rules prescribed in formal warfare. She may treat them as robbers,(146a) The inhabitants of Geneva, after defeating the famous attempt to take their city by escalade,7 caused all the prisoners whom they took from the Savoyards on that occasion to be hanged up as robbers, who had come to attack them without cause and without a declaration of war. Nor were the Genevese censured for this proceeding, which would have been detested in a formal war. Yes, I would dare say it is piracy, what happened to the USS Cole. Even moreso as it was on a direct visit from the US to Yemen to attempt to strengthen ties with Yemen, thus not only a war ship but an emissary from the sovereign Nation of the United States. As such it would have official ambassadorial protections against attacks. The High Seas have been ruled by the SCOTUS, multiple times, to include harbors that have direct access to the High Seas: a Nation's vessel is fully under the laws of its Nation until such time as it ventures beyond those bounds. Somehow we never do the simple and direct thing and just call an organization for what it has done. When 'air piracy' is done to attack a Nation that turns into simple piracy, with Congress having extended the law of the seas to include overlaying airspace and underground beneath the sea floor. 9/11 done in the sovereign air space of the United States to attack the Nation is simple piracy. When will the US finally call them as they are and use the our ability to leverage our own laws against these outlaws, these predators waging illegitimate and illegal war against us?
Toggle Commented Oct 27, 2007 on Not going to parse my words on this one at BLACKFIVE
1 reply
May those who died when the Nation did not respond find final rest, and peace as best they can. Those who die under watch of a negligent Nation do deserve rest for their spirits, as ours are diminished by their absence and further more by our abeyance in bringing any justice to those who preyed upon them. President Clinton's list did not start at the WTC, but did end with the USS Cole. Presidents before him likewise did nothing to respond to the deaths of those serving this Nation in uniform or in civil government, and the list of those dead or just disappeared is lengthy, as is the list of groups that have targeted this Nation. Even as we fight one predator, others stir emboldened by past successes and seeking fresh lives for their errant ideals. We forget how to deal with them as we are no longer taught their nature and how to recoginize these human predators and enemies of mankind. May those who have died such deaths at the hands of those thus vile find some peace with their deaths unavenged. Our glory dims without them and without will to deal with such killers, it grows lesser still. Peace be upon such dead for they are taken from us by our weakness and they are the ones now seeking peace while our hearts beat fainter for what we do not do. They had no chance to fight, this long, long list of those who have died by such killers. And we are damned for not bringing justice to such killers who wage predatory war as in ages past. To be civilized is to end such threats by any means, and put these killers out for good and all. They are the ones to renounce civilization and then attack it. And if we do not respond, we cannot call ourselves civilized because we cannot do what is necessary to be considered such. We did not ask for such killers to kill, they came to us. Perhaps we can relearn what being civilized means, before we, too, have nothing to hold on to and none will protect us from predators in human form.
Toggle Commented Oct 13, 2007 on USS Cole Anniversary.... at BLACKFIVE
1 reply
I've taken a good look at the Syrian WMD infrastructure not only from FAS, GlobalSecurity, IAEA, and other organizations, but also at the report of a reporter who risked life to get out of Syria to tell about the sites he had seen. What is impressive is that the reporter put on the map a couple of sites unmentioned by the normal organizations, and one was clearly an underground bunker complex only recognizable in 3D imagery overlay. That last has high veracity and the report on the al-Baida site is interesting as it is the theoretical repository of Saddam's WMD equipment. Also there was Ray Robison's report on the nuclear scientists gathering in or around al-Hasaka and the reportings from FAS on a nuclear research facility in Deir Zzor. That last is findable, but difficult via imagery. Suffice it to say that Syria has more than enough space to add equipment and components from Saddam's regime. Also the head of NIMA (now NGA) reported on the truck convoys leaving Iraq, and on the ground reports post-conflict has found a few truckers saying they basically drove up to Deir Zzor, left the trailers behind and headed back to Iraq. The idea that all of the dual-use equipment was destroyed contradicts the early reports by the first UN arms control groups that said the contrary. Saddam's own meager accounting also points out that operation equipment continued to exist in Iraq. Trying to pin down the destruction of the equipment on the intervening years requires proof of destruction. It is possible that it was destroyed, but absent demonstrable indicators and given the ability of Saddam to utilize his Nation's own terrain (like with the buried jet fighters) and the size and scope of Iraq requires absolute proof that destruction took place. On Saddam wanting his WMD 'information', as it is phrased, that is highly telling as it indicates a willingness to part with equipment, but an unwillingness to part with plans, system schematics and contacts for procurement of equipment and supplies. The first two are the result of decades of work, the last the means to bring it back, and quickly, wherever Saddam could find a willing partner. The next door neighbor of Egypt comes to mind: Libya. Also realize that the willing exit of Saddam would leave his Ba'ath party intact and let him name a successor, most likely one of his sons. As we have seen the tribal affiliations run deep in Iraq and Saddam outside of Iraq is not necessarily a Saddam without influence inside Iraq. Saddam in Libya and one of his sons in control in Iraq would have let the equipment be taken then, once UN sanctions were gone, started up the entire thing again using Libya as a go-between. Somehow a 2005-06 'triumphal return of Saddam' would have given many in the US to decry whoever was President on 'not removing this fiend when we had a chance'. Somehow this world with Iran and Syria pre-occupied in Iraq and Libya sidelined from WMDs looks much better than one with Iran, Syria, Iraq, and Libya all progressing towards a robust WMD infrastructure. And Iraq would be free to re-build its conventional arsenal with trade sanctions removed. Wars to hold tyrants accountable to their agreements and punish the Nation of that tyrant are bad, but they are not the worst wars of all. In any event: where is the equipment? If destroyed *someone* will know what happened to it, as this stuff would have to be moved by truck/rail to someplace for disposal. We have reports of anonymous loads of stuff heading to Syria, some of which may be the gold and money reserves, but that is two or three trucks at most and a couple of those (one with about $1 B in cash and another with $500 M in gold) found in Iraq. Some of the factory sites have been cleaned prior to the invasion, scrubbed by professionals and dual-use equipment gone yet the floor mounting points still visible. Building intact, surrounding equipment intact, just some equipment *removed* and the place cleaned. Also a couple of sites with thousands of gallons of pesticide in underground bunkers near factories, just sealed and left behind. A strange thing to have, large numbers of barrels of pesticide not sitting in agricultural warehouses, but underground in the desert near a chemical facility. Destruction leaves evidence and witnesses... find the witnesses and you will have a lead to the evidence. And if they are in a mass grave, then you know they were killed for their knowledge. That the WMD system in Iraq was dysfunctional, of that there is no doubt with bribes and non-work and make-work galore. Yet there was something there, as the Kurds can attest to, and Ansar al-Islam announced it had chemical weapons training from Saddam just in the lead-up to the war and that was a special operation to go into rugged terrain and take them out when fighting started. So where is the equipment?
1 reply
Our leadership has failed, not just the military side... we must remember that the military is a reflection of what is seen in society at large. For all the differences in structure and need that reflection still holds and the poor state of some officers shows a flaw we have within our view of this conflict and what it is. Way back when, the Army Field Manual - 100 had an article in it authorized by the President of that time, that stated exactly what to do with such as we find today if caught... mind you I don't think he wanted many of them actually captured: "Art. 82. Men, or squads of men, who commit hostilities, whether by fighting, or inroads for destruction or plunder, or by raids of any kind, without commission, without being part and portion of the organized hostile army, and without sharing continuously in the war, but who do so with intermitting returns to their homes and avocations, or with the occasional assumption of the semblance of peaceful pursuits, divesting themselves of the character or appearance of soldiers - such men, or squads of men, are not public enemies, and, therefore, if captured, are not entitled to the privileges of prisoners of war, but shall be treated summarily as highway robbers or pirates." That was how the Army operated for quite some time, and shows a clear and distinct knowledge of what to do with those that are 'illegal alien combatants'. When was such clarity to be had in the Nation? Really it is unsurprising, the President and the times he faced: "INSTRUCTIONS FOR THE GOVERNMENT OF ARMIES OF THE UNITED STATES IN THE FIELD Prepared by Francis Lieber, promulgated as General Orders No. 100 by President Lincoln, 24 April 1863." Today? No Treaty has been signed that contradicts this. No part of the UCMJ goes against it as, indeed, this form of fighting is repugnant under the law of nations. We face those of no Nation, who see themselves beyond all law and above all law, they wish to bring down Nations and rule under their own view and yet be held unaccountable in that doing. They wage predatory warfare to seek their own gain, their own ends and look not to riches but power as their prize. Our ancestors had name for them that was meaningful: hostis humani generis - Enemy of Mankind. This, the worst form of war of all is back with us, and we don't know how to respond. Some of those folks in command are at a loss, also... and others... are just not good commanders. Lincoln fired his way to good ones... we can only do that to a limited extent on the civilian side to help out, and that does not begin until we can name predators as predators and treat them as such and explain why.
Toggle Commented Sep 27, 2007 on COL Hunt Says It Best... at BLACKFIVE
1 reply
Ah... Sandy Berger... you know with the departure of Norman Hsu I would say... why yes! Sandy Berger has some pretty big socks to fill...
Toggle Commented Sep 13, 2007 on Sandy Berger, Seriously Sandy Berger? at BLACKFIVE
1 reply
My deep and abiding thanks to the People of Poland who has stood by America and sent her sons to help us forge our Revolution and fight side by side with our People. No other People have been so steadfast in their view of America as a land of liberty, even when their governments were imposed from outside the Polish People did not lose sight of this land they helped make free. My family and others of Polish descent would do the same, sending care packages from our families, church groups and social organizations to let you know that during the darkest times of Communism you were not forgotten. Even when our own government would rather do that. We would not forget that gift of forging our land and mixing your blood with ours, so that we could be free. Poland stood in Vienna so that we do not speak Arabic today and bow to Mecca. Poland stood with these brave colonies in America to help them be free. Poland stands by us in Afghanistan and Iraq, even when their government is in disrepute, although our own is heading to that level in these latter days, too. It is to my deep and abiding shame as an American for my Nation that we do not offer the Polish People the bounty of free trade and investment so that we may be stronger together as free peoples. Before Canada and Mexico were even Nations, there was Poland. Even when we could do little when Poland was bi-sected, tri-sected, bi-sected again and over run by Empires and tyrants and dictators from other lands, it is Poles that have always come out the other side while these same Empires turn to dust around them. Once swallowed this proud Nation cannot be digested, and Empires now long gone stand as dust at Her feet. Many towns across our Nation still celebrate memorials to the sons that fought in our Revolution, and the plaques and markers and cornerstones bearing those remembrances can still be found. They are there, memorials to the Revolution erected and many of those will feature a brave Pole on horseback, reared back on two legs to show that brave one died in battle for us. I would prefer to have Poland run our ports, because they deserve that and will do a good job with much hard work to ensure our safety as their own. Whenever I hear outreach to 'new friends' I look to see that we have not handed much if anything to those that have stood by us since that time we proclaimed Nation. Where is the honor in America when we cannot extend the long hand of friendship and give due thanks to Poland for standing as a Free People ALONE? We could only contain Communism, it took the hearty hammer blows of workers in Poland to give direct lie to 'the worker's paradise'. We could not land those blows, but Poles could and DID. And freed their neighbors to do the same and bring down yet another mighty Empire that had swallowed Her and died in the digestion. Through dark days those of Polish descent remembered Poland, and let them know our light of liberty still shone for them. Perhaps, someday, America can prove that she is worthy of having such a friend... lest we become dust in hour dishonor, and Poland, again, stands alone and free.
Toggle Commented Sep 12, 2007 on The Poles on 9/11 at BLACKFIVE
1 reply
Well, lets see, as I was doing an article on Mountain Warfare I found that 1997 looked to be pretty good for this: "Army-wide Shortages in Key Personnel Despite high operating tempos and work loads, both OPFORs at the NTC and JRTC were described as fully manned, enjoying high esprit de corps, and having retention rates at least as good as the rest of the Army, if not better. For the units rotating into the NTC and JRTC—i.e. the Army's combat units; that is to say, the heart and sole of the Army—there is a very different story. I was told the following: Units coming to both training centers frequently do not come with many of their sub-unit commanders; these have frequently been assigned to peacekeeping missions or other deployments that separate them from their units. As a result, sub-units—from basic squads on up—do not train with the commanders that they would go to war with. When this happens, it violates a key dictum of readiness and one of the basic points of having the NTC and the JRTC: the Army should “train just as you go to war.” At the NTC, units rotating in typically come with a 60% shortage in mechanics and a 50% shortage in “mounted” mechanized infantry (in their Bradley APCs). These were described as “Army-wide” shortages: they were demonstrated by virtually all the units coming to the NTC. These shortages were described as due to these personnel, especially the mechanics, being deployed abroad for missions such as Bosnia. On average, all Army personnel now spend from 180 to 220 days of each year away from their home base, and families, on deployments. This average used to be about 165 days per year. According to Army testimony to Congress, the increase in these deployments is for peacekeeping missions. At the JRTC, units were described as typically missing 25% of their basic infantry: mostly junior enlisted personnel with combat military specialties and mid grade non-commissioned officer (NCO) personnel. This was described as a recruiting problem and specifically not because of deployments such as Bosnia. In actuality, these problems may be worse than indicated here. I was told at the NTC that the NCO shortages are often temporarily addressed by pulling junior NCOs into the unfilled senior and mid level slots to make more complete units for training purposes. At the JRTC, because one third of each brigade's junior enlisted and NCO personnel do not deploy for a rotation, it is possible that gaps in the units that do deploy are filled with those that would otherwise stay home. I was told this is not occurring; however, I am skeptical that it never happens." Oh, wait... that was a Congressional report... no idea if the press ever reported *that*. Mind you it did lead to something that got a bit of minimal reportage in 1999 from DoD: "Q: Is there -- I guess I don't understand -- the 10th Mountain and the 1st Infantry Division have been providing peacekeepers for years, and they have not been categorized this way. Why today are they categorized this way when last year they weren't when they were contributing? Sr. Defense Official: I think part of that is the unique circumstance that our forces find themselves in this month. And I don't know if it our plan to have all of -- why don't I ask my colleagues to join because I think all -- Sr. Defense Official: As my colleague read in his opening statement, the commanders make a subjective assessment based upon their capability to deploy along those time lines stipulated in the war plans. In fact, when we look at the varying deployers to Europe, there have been a variety of divisions involved in the European operation. They have deployed at times with personnel and fallen in on equipment that has been in theater, and on other occasions they have taken their own equipment into the theater. And all of those factors weigh in to that subjective assessment that a commander makes, because the ability to disengage those forces are predicated on not only what's there but -- and the time line with which it has to be extracted and retrained and committed to the war plan, but the commitments by other supporting CINCs, like Transportation Command to facilitate the movement of both the personnel and that equipment. It happens that on this particular occasion -- and my colleague is better suited to discuss it -- but on this particular occasion, there happens to be a larger amount of equipment associated with this particular deployment than has occurred in the past. Again -- Q: (Off mike) -- we've had many more troops in the past were actually -- Sr. Defense Official: Let me give you a recent example of adjustments that we made along the same lines as we are faced with here, or a different scenario, but adjustments made. Last year we had in Bosnia an early deployer, as was stated in the statement. That early deployer was identified as problematic in terms of its ability to reconstitute and execute its major theater war responsibility. And as a result, the Army made a conscious decision to substitute for that early deployer within its division committed to the major theater war. So we didn't pull that unit out of Bosnia, but rather we identified a unit that would be the substitute for it in order to provide the commander the assurance that as an early deployer in the war plan, he could meet his war plan time line requirements." It was a press briefing, after all, so I do *hope* someone reported it... all those little peacekeeping operations in Haiti, Bosnia, Serbia, Kosovo... hard to keep track of things, really, easy to lose a couple of divisions in all that shuffle. Say, just how are all those places doing these days? Is Congress doing a better job of keeping track of things and making sure that there are sufficient funds, programmatics and outlays for force retention, training and resupply? Have we used up all the pork yet, so the budget is lean, mean and ready for action? Or is Congress still wasting money on biking paths, biathlon courses, and mowing the lawns of closed bases? Because if Congress doesn't put the outlay for it, it doesn't happen. And as one Congresscritter put it: "We do adjust what the Defense Department asks for. That is our job. Our job is to try and set the priorities for the Defense Department. Now, we are going to go back to conference. We are going to look at all the things, the adjustments that the Members have asked for, the concern that they have about the various issues, and if I remember on the floor, there was an amendment to reduce defense in the initial phase, before the conference, by 5 percent, by 3 percent. Both of those were defeated substantially." - Rep. John Murtha, October 18, 1995, APPOINTMENT OF CONFEREES ON H.R. 2126, DEPARTMENT OF DEFENSE APPROPRIATIONS ACT, 1996 Gotta love that! And folks complain that the Executive is to blame for such things as understrength units, not enough equipment and such. Nope, that is the job of Congress... one wonders if they have read the Constitution to find that out...
Toggle Commented Aug 22, 2007 on Is the U.S. Military a Broken Force? at BLACKFIVE
1 reply
One of the things that the Executive actually *can* do is require the Federal Government, as in the Agencies and civil service, to actually add in 'external assistance' or 'inter-agency agreement work' to this things known as 'requirements for higher grade/service level'. The actual *skills* to do such things as, say, typify the opium crop, extent and placement in Afghanistan is a skill set existing within the Dept. of Agriculture. At some point the Executive must be held to account for the non-deployment of critical needs, inter-agency wise, in overseas needs. For Afghanistan I looked at that here and also point out the waste of the USDA itself, outside of its crop INTEL analysis group. Because this group does the exact, same thing with DEA in S. America, so changing the Executive plan to re-order things internal to USDA would get critical crop analysis capability added to the DoD for a minimal expenditure of actual *pay*. A big bonus is much of that work can be done inside the US, although on-the-ground soils analysis and such would require some actual 'experts' to show up and do the work they do with S. American Nations... The major war in Iraq from Washington bureaucracy is *not* the combat going on, but the Incessant Turf Wars between the bureaucracies which want expansion and prestige without having to do a damned thing to get it. Just as with the USDA for places like DOT, for helping out in other areas of transportation and infrastructure (they really do have a lot under their purview!) the exact same idea of 'no advancement unless inter-agency and extra-territorial duties' are performed can be added. The President does get a say in such things! Yes, this requires re-ordering budgets, re-planning, reducing projects at home or putting them on an extended timeline... these are things an Executive *does*. The INTEL Community has this problem in spades, and the intra-IC fights prevent a lot of this thing called 'multi-source analysis' (using all the data you can get your hands on) from happening... because no one wants to share their 'turf' and methods. Might harm your 'mission', donchyaknow? The 'mission' being to defend turf, budgets and personnel from the exact sort of raids that are necessary to get capable staff to State and DoD. We do *not* need a larger State Dept. What is needed is an Executive that actually does this thing known as 'lead government'. That is a *job* of the President. He gets a few jobs and they each have awesome responsibilities and powers with them. This is not a job of Congress but of a President committing the resources, skills and effort necessary to offer the road 'up' in government service through this thing known as 'helping the Nation and warfighter'. It can be done, but not via the method of State begging for people, but by a President letting Agencies and his Cabinet know that for every person State picks up in their specialty their area will *lose* a number of similar individuals in 'downsizing to help the Nation'. Even better the President can do this thing known as *fire* Senior Executives atop the Agency structure and leading it! That power was given to the Executive in the 1970's, so the very simple 'chainsaw Al' approach of 'fire until competence is found' will work. This is a complete and valid criticism of the President under the powers and responsibilities handed to the Office via We the People. It is a damned hard job he volunteered for and was elected to do. In the area of Executive leadership and oversight of the Federal Government outside of the Armed Forces, he has not been up to this task of letting the Government know this is *serious*. When you see Agencies running around for individuals they can't get that sit inside the Federal Government, it is not the Nation to complain about but the leader of the organization known as the Head of Government. He must do his job and use those powers to succeed. So far he hasn't been up to this task of being an Executive for the Federal Government. And we are in danger because of that failure.
Toggle Commented Aug 15, 2007 on Uncle Reeker Wants You! at BLACKFIVE
1 reply
You have to appreciate this MNF-I release to YouTube at Strategypage. Seems that in clearing out a bit of resistance and setting up shop, they ran across an informant... who told them where an HQI operation was set up... just one of those deals of being neighborly, after all, to pay a visit. Also there: a piece on why body armor is not always your friend, the NLOS-C making into production which, even if limited, will help get it past the testing phase it has been in for years, and a few bits of Land Warrior that made it to the field.
Toggle Commented Aug 14, 2007 on A bunch of good news about Iraq at BLACKFIVE
1 reply
Syria does not remain bought once paid off. Iran retains influence by continued payments for Hezbollah, of which Syria skims off the middle-man portion, and via their work with WMDs. Speaking of which, why doesn't anyone hold them accountable for same? Not signing the chemical weapons convention, skirting the bioweapons convention and swindling the Swedes out of a plant claimed for other purposes while processing and refining uranium from their phosphate deposits... you would think someone would actually try to berate them a bit, no? Help Syria? Why? They are not an 'enemy of my enemy' but an enemy directly for funding and supporting Hezbollah and the involvement with the two US Embassy bombings in Beirut and the Marine Barracks bombing, and the multiple kidnappings that Hezbollah staged. Help neither, they deserve each other if AQ has really turned on Syria... which, considering the staged things Syria has done, I have my doubts.
Toggle Commented Aug 10, 2007 on Are we negotiating with Syria? at BLACKFIVE
1 reply